Friday, November 30, 2007

Asshats and answers

Lots to talk about here, let's see if I can get it all in one blog.

First, Leslie, Oklahoma still has a shot, albeit a small one for the national title. The big advantage they have is they are playing #1 Missouri, two wins over them in one season would certainly help make their case, but they would also probably Pittsburgh to beat West Virginia, and it wouldn't hurt to have LSU lose to Tennessee and USC to lose to UCLA, If the top two spots in the poll both lose (Missouri and West Virgina) Ohio State will take one of them (they are #3 and their season is complete) leaving it up to a mishmash of teams for whom the Buckeyes would play and if everything falls correctly, Oklahoma would still be in that mix.

Second for Lee, I guess I just don't have that much of an understanding of Prime Minister Rudd. Was his win a vote for him and his policies or moreso a vote against Howard? I am sure Howard's support of George Bush's Iraq policy did him no favors at home, Tony Blair could also also write a chapter in that book. Was that the only reason though? I will admit I know very little of Australian domestic policies, I had heard that Howard was decent on fiscal policy, but have little to base that on other than the scribblings of others. In any event, any insights you could offer would be greatly appreciated, I am not above learning things from time to time. I certainly wish Prime Minister Rudd nothing but the best, and regardless of why he took office, sometimes greatness comes from a combination of the time, the place and the man. Just ask Winston Churchill..

Okay, some of the stuff I needed to get out of the way has been gotten, but I am just getting started here. I should warn the fair reader that some parts of the rest of the blog are going to be troubling to some. I like to think of myself as an equal opportunity offender, so if some of the things I say are not to your taste, don't worry, I probably pissed someone else off with something else I wrote.

Prime example would be the winner of the Asshat, that coveted trophy that gets brandished about these pages on a weekly basis. The winner from last week is one Heather Mills, former wife of Paul McCartney, who managed to double the fun by screwing up twice last week. First she suggests that we should all drink rat's milk because it is better for the environment than those gas producing cattle we have grown accustomed too. I'll tell you what, when you can sit there with a a rat over your morning java and a pair of tweezers to squeeze out some cream for the morning's beverage of choice, you can get back to me. Better still was that she would follow up such a stupid comment by saying that rich people are snobs who don't want to part with their money. Well excuse me if not everybody can follow your preferred method of obtaining cash, that being by fucking a rich guy, but until you do something of merit besides pin your ankle behind your ear (I assume it would be easier just to leave the other leg by the nightstand) just take your Asshat award and go away.

Quickie fantasy updates, the office pool is all but done for me after going 9-7 picking games last week. I am a full 8 games back of first place and probably not nearly enough time to pass all of the teams I would need to in order to win anything.

Hockey I went 7-2-1 last week, so a couple of weeks of decent hockey on my part has gotten my record back over .500 at 34-33-13, which is good enough for 7th place, but bad enough that I am 23 pts out first place.

Yahoo football, with two weeks left, I am 9-3 after a 105-95 win. While I am in first place, I still haven't clinched a playoff spot, with one other team also 9-3 and 3 other teams at 7-5. The league takes the top 4 so to guarantee a playoff spot I would need to win one of my last two, if I lose both I am going to need some help, mainly a loss by one of the 7-5 teams.

In my bar league, I won and clinched a playoff spot, but I glogged a portion of that game a few entries back. That league takes 6 playoff teams, so my 7-5 mark will definitely be one of the top 6 with just one week to play there, but the highest I could enter the playoffs would be as the 3 seed and I imagine I could finish the regular season anywhere between 3rd and 5th place. That being said, the final score ended up being 156-124, my best scoring output of the season at just the right time.

Excuse me if I pause from time to time here, I am snacking on some deliciously free Subway here. While I no longer work there, I stopped in this evening savoring a tuna sub and armed with a desire to not cook after being at the radio station for 13 hours today. Anyway, some of my old coworkers were manning the counter and they offered me dinner for free, and who am I to pass on free food. The guest appearance was a mixed bag, just felt slow to get started, but after about 45 minutes we all got our radio legs so to speak and had a good time. What a three hours it had been too, covering everything from the sex room in Brittany Spears' house, to the hostage crisis at the Clinton campaign office to the passing of Evel Kneivel, it was an eclectic mix of topics to say the least.

Speaking of Brittany Spears, I was reading rumors of her being pregnant again. The next time I hear someone say that George Bush is the dumbest person they know, I can just point to her and say some guys are dumber, because they still fuck that basketcase without a condom.

I have my pogo badges done for the week. I am still working on the Mix and Match album however, where you pick twenty random badges of your choosing. So far I have 17 of those done and I am on my way to a 18th, winning 20 1000pt games of Qwerty (I have 7 so far) in 4 weeks. Mind you, I always play the computer and rarely if ever lose when I do so, so it is more just me carving out time for the badge than actually having trouble winning it. For those that are curious, here are the 18 badges in that album that I have won so far.

1) Squelchies Playing Qwerty (Qwerty) - Capture 75 gold stars in two weeks

2) Balance Ball (Lottso) - Win 5000 tokens in two weeks

3) Tug of War (Lost Temple Poker) - Win 21 hands in one hour (Must win more tokens than bet)

4) You Will Go Bananas (Word Jong) - Earn 3000 tokens in one week

5) On the Auction Block (Dice City Roller) - Earn a clear bonus 50 times in 3 days

6) Charity Badge (Lottso) - Activate a Charity card 30 times in three weeks

7) Blazin Dice (Dice City Roller) - Play 2000 dice in three weeks

8) Bunny Love (Fortune Bingo) - Get the only bingo in the room 10 times in two weeks

9) Serpent of Doom ( Tri Peaks Solitaire) - Get a 10 card or better streak in two hours

10) Token Trove (Vaults of Atlantis) - Win 10,000 tokens in 30 days

11) Roll n Spin (Hog Heaven Slots) - Clear 10 flying pigs in 30 minutes

12) In Flight Meal (World Class Solitaire) - Win 2500 tokens in one week

13) Frog Prince (Greenback Bayou) - Win 500 tokens in 15 minutes

14) Grab Your Goal (Tri Peaks Solitaire) - Win 6000 tokens in one week

15) Tabloid (Showbiz Slots) - Win more than your bet 25 times in two hours

16) Swimming Pool (High Stakes Pool) - Win 25 "9 Ball" games in two weeks

17) Mad Scratcher (Lottso) - Earn 15 Jackpot spins in one week

There, was that boring enough for the reading audience?

I have been trying to catch up on some of my missed multiply readings. I forgot to add something to an old post of Angie's however, on the list of board games I can't believe I forgot it, but a game I always played as a kid (and I barely play now) would be chess. I can't believe that one completely slipped my mind.

Well, I should probably call this an entry, I want to catch the Bill Clinton interview on Charlie Rose later. I will not be posting it on my page, unlike the Edwards interview, some stuff you have to get yourself. Likewise, if you are looking for an interview with your favorite presidential candidate, I am sure if he hasn't interviewed them yet, he will be doing so in the near future, as the interviews are an ongoing series.

A blog later, a video now

Yes, I have to get about blogging at some point, but for now I am closing in on one hour until I am on Doug's show, though to be honest, I can't think of a simple thing to say.  Hate days like that.  Anyway, until I get done with the radio thing and have time to sit down with a plate of food and eat and blog at the same time, I throw you some video goodness, John Edwards on Charlie Rose last night.  CR has been interviewing all of the Presidential candidates, I caught parts of his sit down with John McCain and Mike Huckabee.  I think tonight he is interview former President Bill Clinton, which I will be glued to the TV for this evening.  Anyway, when the campaign first started, I was hoping for an Edwards win, and while I still hope for it, what I want and what I get are not always the same thing.  Okay, enough blather from me, onto the interview.




Sunday, November 25, 2007

A fantastical glog

Let it be said, I didn't plan on doing a glog this evening, let alone a fantasy glog but this evening may very well merit one. For those that haven't heard, and really who visiting this page hasn't heard of my fantasy teams by now, I am in two fantasy football leagues. One is in yahoo and it is a freebie league, it costs nothing and you win nothing, save for the pride of knowing you beat 11 other people from all parts of creation. Yahoo also keeps a fantasy sports profile and awards "trophies" for 1st, second and third place finishes in their different fantasy sports. Mind you, nothing you receive in the mail, just a mention on your fantasy sports profile. 4 teams make the playoffs in that league and as of this writing, I would qualify as the #1 seed in the playoffs. The second league I am in is of more of a financial interest, it involves 10 teams from my local watering hole and 6 teams make the playoffs as opposed to 4. We are getting to the point in the season where playoff spots are being clinched, 2 have been clinched so far, 4 remain. Any team that reaches 7 wins will definitely qualify for the playoffs, based on how the season has gone so far. That being said, I am playing someone, who like myself, has a 6-5 record, which means that the winner of the contest in guaranteed a playoff spot.

As I type this, which is prior to the Patriots/Eagles Sunday night football game, I trail in the contest 124-121. Usually I would be happy if I score 100 points, but given the significance of the contest, I will not be happy with scoring 121 and losing this particular week. With one week left in our regular season, it would force me to win next week, or get a ton of help to make the playoffs. That being said, while I trail by 3 points, my opponent has played all 11 of his players, I have played 8. I still have my kicker (Stephen Gostkowski), a wide receiver (Wes Welker) and a running back (Willie Parker) yet to play, two of those guys will be playing in the Sunday night game (kicker, wide receiver) and my running back goes on Monday night. Chances are that I will get the three points with three guys left, yet I am still nervous, so I figured the best way to deal with nerves is to glog the game instead and stick in fantasy updates where needed.

While Al Michaels and John Madden blather away with pregame nothingness, allow me to say a belated Happy Thanksgiving to all and many thanks for the well wishes sent my way and special kudos to Carol who sent a card as well. I hope everyone had a good holiday, for me it was just another work day, but that's okay, if I didn't like my job I would bitch and moan about working, but since I do, everyday is very much like a day off for me. I will say this though, since starting the second job, I have felt my brain come back a little bit. Call it mental laziness, but when I was only working one job and getting sleep (maybe too much sleep), it just seemed I was a step slow come radio time. Now that I am back to getting less sleep and working more often, my acuity seems to have returned as well. I haven't been reading as much, at least book wise, though part of that is due to the books I have been tackling. I finished "The Lion in the White House" a biography on Theodore Roosevelt and am now working on "Summits: Six Meetings that Shaped the 20th Century". It is very good but very detailed so it has been a slow read.

Philadelphia will start with the football and tonight's contest is officially underway. Since both of my guys play for New England, I will. not pay as much attention to the Eagles unless something big happens.

Back to the book, I am on the 4th of the 6 summits covered.

Break, New England intercepts a pass on the third play of the game and runs it back for a touchdown. Credit Asanti Samuel with the pick and the score and with the extra point its New England 7 Philadelphia 0. fantasy update is now 124-122 with me getting credit for the extra point.

Let's try the book thing again during the commercial break, the first three summits were Chamberlain/Hitler, Churchill/Roosevelt/Stalin, and Kennedy/Kruschev and I just stared the fourth which is Nixon/Brezhnev. The details and the behinds the scenes stuff of the summits is quite fascinating for a sort of political junkie like myself.

Back to football, the Eagles have possession of the football again and a pass by AJ Feeley (Donovan McNabb is out with an injury) gets the first first down of the game. A few plays later and the Eagles have another first down and have crossed midfield. Mind you, I don't care who wins per se, I just want the fantasy points, so if the Eagles are going to score, I would rather they do it quickly so Wes Welker can get on the field. Being a fantasy geek means you root for some of the oddest combinations. Last week for instance, while I live in Pittsburgh, I had to root for a bad game from ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh quarterback, because it would help me. I have always argues that unlike most Pittsburghers who bleed black and gold (the team colors), my loyalty is determined on fantasy draft day and I root for the 25 guys that make my roster.

As I type, the Eagles continue their march down field, they are now inside the New England 15 yard line with another first down. I just realized that by glogging this game, I can't smoke until halftime.

Holy crap,. Brian Westbrook scores from 1 yard out and this game is in fact tied 7-7 in the first quarter, which is surprising on a number of levels for those that follow football regularly. For those that don't, New England is undefeated this year and the closest anyone came to beating them was the Indianapolis Colts, who lost after having a 10 point lead in the fourth quarter, the rest of New England's games really haven't been that close. After 10 games, the Patriots have scored 411 points while allowing 157, so you can pretty much guess their games haven't been all that close.

New England takes over possession of the football for the first time this game, despite the game being 9 minutes old and the score tied. Two plays and New England has its first first down of the game. One play later and Tom Brady got drilled on a sack leaving the Patriots with 2nd and 17. Despite the yards, two plays later New England has another first down. A scramble by Brady on 2nd and 10 and he gets down to the Philadelphia 18 yard line with a first down. A pass on first down to Wes Welker for 9 yards, one point on the reception for me. On 2nd and 1, another pass to Kevin Faulk in the flat and it is first and goal from the 2. Time out New England and we are still tied 7-7 with the Patriots threatening. The fantasy game is now 124-123.

I should note that we can get negative points in this league, interceptions and fumbles are both worth -3 pts and a missed extra point is -1, so the total points for me can go down as well as up.

The first running play of the drive is a handoff to Heath Evans and he scores from 2 yards out, and the extra point makes it New England 14 Philadelphia 7, 1st quarter. The extra point means I am now tied in fantasy 124-124.

Philadelphia has the ball back and on first down a dump off to Brian Westbrook gets another first down for Philadelphia and I have to say, I have been less than impressed with New England's defense so far this evening. Other than the mistake on the first drive resulting in the interception, Philadelphia has been able to move the ball pretty well against New England. We have reached the end of the first quarter and the score remains NE 14 PHI 7.

Sorry about the abbreviations, but I got tired of typing out the names. I am good for numerable typos on any given day, no need to increase my odds any more than they already are.

Star of second quarter and PHI is in NE territory again with a first down. Feeley tries throwing deep on first down but the throw is out of bounds, no worries though and Westbrook runs for a first down on 2nd and 10. NE takes a timeout with 3rd and 7 and PH in NE territory, so far they have run 24 plays to NE's 10, so it isn't as though the Patriot defense has been able to get the Eagles off the field so far, the question is can the Eagles defense even slow down the Patriot offense, or will the two teams just trade punches all night long. In that type of matchup, I like New England's chances.

Back from the timeout and Feeley throw deep down the middle and it is caught for a touchdown, don't look now but it is 14-14 in the second quarter. Time for a sandwich break.

Okay, back with a turkey sandwich in tow. Before everyone gets all moany about turkey again, since I worked on Thanksgiving, my dinner consisted of two microwave burritos and mac and cheese, so I bought some sliced turkey today to eat at work, I am doing all niters again this week, which I failed to mention.

The Eagles attempt an onside kick and recover it, so they will take possession of the ball for a 4th time now, versus one possession for the Patriots.

Anyway, I grabbed some soup, sliced turkey, potato chips and pepsi to eat at the station so I would be a little bit fatter when the regular office folk see me in the morning.

The Patriots hold and the Eagles punt, the first punt by either team in the game so far. The score remains tied 14-14 and the fantasy score also remains tied 124-124.

Also while out shopping of food, I did the WalMart thing because I didn't have time to go all over the map shopping, I had planned on getting a DVD to watch tonight at work, at least before I came up with this clever glog idea, because they have a decent selection in the $5 bin, but instead I ended up buying a shirt for $7 and a pair of pants for $4 so for $11 I made an outfit. I retain my title as king of the bargain shoppers.

New England starts their second possession of the game with an incomplete pass and a short pass to Randy Moss for 7 brings up 3rd and 3. Brady finds Moss on 3rd down and the drive continues. The Patriots continue to throw the ball on this drive, 6 minutes into the second quarter and they have only run the ball once, on the 2 yard TD run in the first quarter. Check that, I forgot about Brady's scramble when no one was open, that counts as a run technically, though it wasn't a called running play.

While I have been babbling, NE is on 3rd and goal at the PHI 10 yard line. A 5 yard pass to Welker brings up 4th and goal on the 5. The field goal attempt is up and good and the Patriots now lead 17-14 second quarter. For the record, the catch is worth a point and the field goal is worth three, so I now lead in fantasy 128-124. That 4th point is clutch because it means I have to fumble twice now to lose my lead. Mind you, those that were around at the beginning of the season remember (actually I doubt you remember, it was a stupid little thing tucked inside my blog) that we changed the fantasy rules this year to include one point per reception. It was a rule I wasn't in favor of, I felt it awarded guys for doing what they should do as opposed to doing something after possessing the football. That being said, Welker's 2 catches loom large right now, even though his 14 yards are worth nothing (you need 15 to register a point) so instead of 0 points which I would have had last year, I have 2 his year.

While I was rambling, PHI has the ball again and they are already passed midfield and inside the NE 40 yard line. Two plays later and Feeley finds the tight end matt Schobel, who records his first catch of the game and it is 1st and 10 at the NE 18 yard line. On third and 10 from the 18 Feeley finds Greg Lewis for a second TD pass and catch this half and I can't believe I am glogging this, but Philly leads New England 21-17 in the second quarter.

I made a mistake earlier, they are crediting Welker with 15 yards receiving, so he has gotten me an additional point, it is 129-124.

New England has the ball back after the Philly TD and a little over 3 minutes left in the half, or as I call it, the cigarette break.

The Patriots have 3rd and 6 on this drive, an incomplete pass and a dump to Kevin Faulk for 4 yards and we are at the two minute warning. During the commercial break, they just had a commercial with Nicole Viadasova (not sure of the spelling there) and I have to ask if she wasn't shown in the commercial playing tennis, would anyone know who she actually was? I don't follow women's tennis religiously by any means, but I knew the name just because she looks hot in a tennis skirt, but that isn't going to make me by a watch (she was on a Citizen's commercial).

NE coverts on 3rd and 6 on a pass to Welker, more points for me. 1st and 10 and another 7 yard pass to Welker. Welker is the consummate garbage point guy in points per reception rules. He has 68 catches going into tonight's game, that is 68 free points that I wouldn't have had last year. A defensive penalty on PHI and that is doubly bad because it will stop the clock for NE, thereby preserving their last timeout and giving NE a first down. Brady finds Randy Moss for 8 yards on 1st down and New England is inside the PHI 30 yard line. Three plays later and Tom Brady finds Jabar Gaffney, the #4 receiver of the Patriots, for a touchdown pass and NE has reclaimed the lead 24-21 with less than 10 seconds in the half.

The Eagles just run one play and run out the clock, content to go to the lockerroom down just three points, in what is a surprisingly close game, 24-21. As for the last drive from a fantasy perspective, I am building a little cushion now, leading 132-124.

Smoke break, feel free to mingle amongst yourselves, I will be back shortly.

Okay, I'm back. I should note that Friday saw the erection (enter Beavis and Butthead with the "He said erection" commentary) of the radio station Christmas tree, which also meant the unravelling of the Christmas extension cord to light the tree. Seems that if the tree is plugged into the wrong outlet, it shorts out the microwave or vice versa, I can never keep the two straight, I just know that the building is wired in such a way that the tree can't be plugged into the nearest available outlet or like the Monopoly card, if the circuit is being used, expect 10x the normal problems that would accrue with the lighting of the tree.

New England gets the ball to start the second half. I should note that despite there being 6 games left for New England (including the current game), New England has in fact clinched a playoff spot this weekend with Buffalo's loss to Jacksonville. They will clinch the division title with a win tonight.

New England tried a running play to start the second half, it didn't go all that well and an incomplete pass later and it is 3rd and 14. Tom Brady is sacked on third down and they will have to punt back to Philadelphia, meaning the Eagles will get the ball back with a chance to once again take the lead.

For those that didn't notice, I did take some time today to get some more of my old blogs transferred over to the new page. feel free to ignore them, after all it is stuff that is over a year old now, just don't ignore this one. Just kidding, you can ignore this one too if you must, and after you see how long it is, you might opt for that course of action.

PHI takes over on their own 44 yard line. 3 plays net about 5 yards and the Eagles will be forced to punt back to the Patriots, and a good kick will pin the Patriots back on their own 10 yard line, where they will have their second possession of the second half, holding on to a 24-21 lead.

The second possession of the second half starts off a little better for the Patriots, they get a first down as Brady scrambles on a 3rd and 3 to just get past the marker, keeping the drive alive and saving punting from the endzone. Another 3rd down conversion, this on a pass to Wes Welker and we may be seeing the beginnings of a drive. Laurence Maroney has been carrying the ball a little on this drive, which is of note since he wasn't even on the field in the first half, which would lead one to assume he was still banged up from last week, when he left with a foot injury, but here he is running the ball with some success in the second half. Third and 12 and a bubble screen pass to Welker picks up a lot of yards and Welker gets the ball all the way down to the 4 yard line.

Well, there is an injury timeout, which means I will kick off my shoes and socks. I know, it isn't something that one would normally do at work, but after having shoes on for the last 14 hours, my toes need some freedom.

First down and a touchdown pass to Randy Moss is called back due to offensive pass interference, pushing the Patriots back to the 14 yard line with a first and goal. Unlike the first half, when the Eagles ran the majority of the plays, so far the Eagles have had three plays this quarter to 17 for the Patriots. The Eagles hold on the drive forcing New England to try a field goal, which they miss keeping the score at 24-21. That has to be disappointing, driving from their own 10 al the way to the eagles 5 yard line and coming away with no points. The miss is disappointing to me, as it would have been three more fantasy points. Instead, I lead 139-124 and I am feeling very comfortable right now about my playoff spot. I like that, I don't have top sweat my lineup the last week of the regular season, I can just play guys and let whatever happens, happen.

The Eagles start their second possession of the second half, and they half to be happy with still being down only 3 points and very much in this contest. Mind you the Las Vegas bookies had this game with NE being somewhere around a 24 point favorite. What a point spread usually shows is the number it takes to get the betting even on both sides of the equation, so to get people to bet Philadelphia, the odd makers were giving 24 points, that is how uncompetitive it was viewed that this game would be. Instead, it has been very competitive and makes me happy that I actually glogged the game, as opposed to last week, when the Patriots were also the Sunday night game, and they beat Buffalo on national tv by a 56-10 count, making the game painful to watch, even for people that like football.

While I have been on another of my tangents, the Eagles have drove down to the NE 26 yard line with a 1st down. This is definitely within range of a field goal to tie, but I don't think they are playing for a tie right now, as they hit for another first down on a Feeley pass to Kevin Curtis at the NE 14 yard line. Two plays later and the Eagles face a 3rd and 4 from the 8 yard line and the Eagles will take a time out to talk things over. Can't say as I blame them, this is a pretty important play call, they have a shot at either the lead, a first down at the 4 yard line or worst case scenario, a field goal to tie. While they talk things over, feel free to read some musings by other people on my contact list.

AJ Feeley hits Reggie Brown in the end zone and really don't look now, but the Eagles, point spread aside, are leading this game outright, 28-24 in the third quarter.

The Patriots take over after the kickoff on their own 33 yard line, and 3 plays net only 7 yards but a flag is on the field and it is an offside call on the Eagles which is good for 5 yards and for the time being, the Patriots have new life with a gift first down. The third quarter has come to a close, just 15 minutes of football left and the Eagles lead the Patriots 28-24. I now lead in fantasy 141-124.

Okay, start of the 4th quarter and NE has a 3rd and 6 and it is another pass to Welker good for a first down. That is now 9 catches for 107 yards for my fantasy wide receiver, the scary thing is, he is my worst receiver this week, as I also played Greg Jennings from Green Bay (5 catches, 60 yards, 2 TDs - 21 pts) and Chad Johnson (12 catches, 103 yards, 3 TDs - 36 pts). While I was blabbing the NE drive stalls and the Eagles will take over leading the game still 28-24. The sad thing is, while this is going on there are a bunch of aging guys in Miami (the 72 Dolphins) with their hands on their johnsons just hoping that New England loses so they can remain the only team to go unbeaten in an NFL season. They have made it a tradition to crack champagne once the last undefeated team falls every year. If my life ever comes down to living off of a past glory of 35 years previous, just put a bullet in my skull, because it means I have done nothing with my life since.

The Eagles manage a first down on the drive but then the possession peters out and the Eagles are forced to punt. After a commercial break, the game is back with Ne having the ball on their own 33 yard line. A quick pass to Donte Stallworth results in a first down and another play, another first down, a 12 pass to Kevin Faulk. The Patriots are past midfield and it is now three straight plays for first downs, this time 14 yards to Welker, and my fantasy team cheers a little more. A quick screen top Stallworth nets only 2 yards and for the first time this drive, the Patriots have a second down.

The end of creative thought continues, I just saw a commercial for American Gladiators because we don't have enough crappy television shows out there now, we have to resurrect old bad shows now.

The Patriots have a third and 9 and it is another pass to Wes Welker for a first down. The Patriots are down to the PHI 14 yard line and the missed field goal earlier is looming large, because the Patriots need a TD now to take the lead, even though they are in field goal range. Hey don't look now, but Welker has another first down grab, I am liking my chances very much now, the question is can I get the high score of the week. Not that that means much on a weekly basis, but at the end of the regular season, the top three scoring teams also get money, so points are important, even if I am most likely going to win. Again, while that was taking place, Laurence Maroney scored on a TD run and with the extra point (which I also get) the Patriots have retaken the lead 31-28. Fantasy wise it is now 149-124 and I can almost certainly stop with the updates fantasy wise, I would need to fumble quite a few times to blow this lead.

Another commercial break, which is good because I need to rant about something. I tend to be pretty middle of the road regarding Walmart, I don't think they are as evil as some people do, but I recognize they aren't perfect either. That being said, I do find their current radio campaign a little tasteless, even for the secular Christmas type like myself, in which they basically say that buy shopping at WalMart you can save money which means more Christmas for everyone. Don't get me wrong, I like shopping during the holiday season, but I don't measure it on dollars spent or gifts bought or received. I'd rather just enjoy the company of family and friends and last I checked WalMart doesn't sell that.

Okay, the Eagles have a 3rd and 3 and they covert on a pass to LJ Smith so while I have been talking about commercials the game has been taking place. The clock is ticking, there is about 5 and half minutes remaining and the Eagles have another first down, this time at the NE 48 yard line. Here come the Eagles, another pass, to Kevin Curtis gets a first down again. Two plays later and AJ Feeley makes his second mistake of the game and it is probably a killer, as he finds Asanti Samuel again, the problem being that Samuel plays for the other team.

New England has the ball and they will look to run some clock here and two plays gets 9 yards but a false start makes what would have been 3rd and 1 into a 3rd and 6. That being said, Brady again finds Jabar Gaffney for a first down, probably the first time since the second quarter Gaffney has seen the football. The conversion was big because the Eagles have used two of their three timeouts and while the two minute warning will stop the clock once, even if the Eagles get a stop here, they will have very little time left when they get the ball back.

The Eagles do hold but there is just 31 seconds left to try to mount something here. The punt and return waste 12 of those second and the Eagles have just 19 second to try to get into field goal range to tie this contest. Well that didn't take long, one pass play results in Feeley's third interception of the game and that is all she wrote, the Patriots take a knee and the game is over with the Patriots winning 31-28. And on the fantasy front, I now lead 150-124, so unless Willie parker fumbles the ball 9 times tomorrow night, my lead is pretty safe. Okay, you can go back to your normal lives now, I will do the spell check and post this disaster.

Originally appeared 3/3/06

Sorry, no clever title, just questions and musings for the audience

Greetings one and all, it has been a few days since I blogged, so I figured I better get back at it. I am taking Angie's advice and doing this in WordPad first, because I am tired of losing perfectly good blogs on my laptop. Hopefully things will go much better this way.

First, the change meter gets two more pennies, so we are now at $2.42. I was actually thinking about something regarding the change meter the other day. While so far I have just been finding coins, what happens if I should find a wallet or a money clip or some other assortment of significant bills? Do I keep it? If I give it back, does it really count toward the change meter? leave it to me to find the ethical dilemna in something so trivial as the change meter, but if I decide that there is an amount that I can't keep, then where would i draw the line? For that matter, where would you the reader draw the line? At what point is it found money vs. an amount that should be returned?

And since I am being all philosophical here, let's add another question to the mix, it is one that has stumped some coworkers of mine, so I will see if anyone can answer it here. let's propose for the sake of argument that you could get away with one murder, the philosophical get out of jail free card if you will. mind you, you only get one, you can't go on a spree here, but you are for a brief moment in time allowed to play God by eradicating one person. Who do you get rid of? I will admit that I have no idea who I would kill, but my temperment leads me to believe that once I knew I had a freebie, I would probably just waste it on the first person that actually annoyed me. Not exactly long term planning here, but by and large the people that annoy me aren't the ones that would attract a lot of attention should they be removed. Sure, I could pick someone higher up the food chain, but their death could lead them to end up being a martyr, so by removing them, I might have given them more credibility than if they just lived. Nonetheless, I will take all answers to the question. Maybe someone has a better reason for offing someone than I do, i don't know.

Yesterday was another spoil myself kind of day. I did my morning gig, then took myself out to lunch (chicken parmesan) then came back to work and got some of my production work done. I got about three hrs done of the five I had to do, then left for home. I decided that rather than cooking I would stop at Quaker Steak N Lube. This was my first visit to the well known restaurant, as most of the stores are outside of the city, but they recently opened one in my section of town (Oakland) so I figured I would give the place a try. Basically they are a wing joint, though they do have a few other things on the menu, I am just surprised it took this long for them to open one this close to the Pitt campus. It would seem to be a no brainer to open a place that primarily sells wings next to a college campus. I ended up getting the cajun wings and french fries. Yummy!!!! and the place was packed. theuy have some inside seating, but since I live only a few blocks away, I just got mine to go, so i could go home and eat and play on the computer at the same time.

The reason to play on the computer? More pogo badges, naturallly. This weekws badges were pretty easy, I had actually got two of them done, leaving only one that needed done by next Tuesday, and I finished it last nite. I still have a premium badge that I can work on, win 10,000 tokens in Pop Fu, but I still have 9 days to finish that, which is plenty of time, since I already have almost 4000 tokens done. I also tinkered with my Madden season that I mentioned in a previous blog. The overpriced QB I complained about in that blog entry? I ended up caving in and giving him a new contract, though I did manage to get his asking price down about 800,000 a year, so a minor victory there. Right now I am on season 10 in the franchise mode, and I am currently 6-1, tied with the Cincinnati Bengals for first in the division, and I play them twice in the next three games. Not that you much care about the games I play, but just wait till I start getting back into Diablo 2 again and post all of the the items my character has as well as stats. I have so many interests with which I can bore the reader.

So, is anyone tired of the videos that have come out recently? First it's Bush knowing about katrina, now it is Blanco saying the levees would hold. I swear, if they come up with a few more videos, we could have our own TRL of gov't failings. Just accept the fact that thye failings were at the local, state and national levels when it came to disaster response, fix the damn problem and move on already. This incessant finger pointing at the lack of coming up with a cohesive strategy to deal with upcoming disasters really doesn't serve any purpose, other than to make some people feel good about their political leanings by blaming the other side.

Here, I thought when I first started this blog I wouldn't have anything to say. You think I would know myself better by now. Apparently not.

It's been a bad week for radio, at least as far as I am concerned. First, I found out that we will be losing our program director, John Poister in a couple of weeks. He is leaving us to go back into TV, which he worked in before joining us. He is headed over to Channel 11, WPXI, where he will be in charge of news content. Plus he gets to work with the hottie that is Trisha Pittman. I am sooooo jealous. Also of radio note, the person who I first worked with once I went to full time at the station, Jerry Bowyer, has left the profession due to health reasons. Mind you, he left the station almost a year ago, as he got another radio gig over on the FM side, but for the five years that I was the producer of his show, I learned alot about what it is I need to do to help put on a good radio show. Jerry was working over at WORD FM as well as filling in as a substitute host for KRLA Los Angeles (I hope i got the call letters right), and on the nationally syndicated Bill Bennett Show and on the also national Mike Gallagher Show. And to think I was there when he was getting his feet wet in this business. I hope he is able to get back at this soon, he is one of the people that I enjoyed listening to, even when I disagreed with him.

Well, it is almost show time here, so I better get moving. For those of you that made it this far, congratulations!

Originally appeared 2/28/06

A second chance to make a first impression

     I have no idea how this will turn out as compared to my last entry which I did yesterday.  I had put a good 45 minutes into yesterday's entry before yahoo swallowed the entry, leaving me blogless.  And I was being so witty too, at least I thought I was.

    Today is Fat Tuesday, which is part of Mardi Gras, though what it really means I have no idea nor do i much care to look it up.  It is just another reason to get drunk for the most part.  You would think that, given most of the repair work in New Orleans isn't done and the fact there are still more than 2000 people missing, and one would think that there are more important things to do than invite a bunch of drunks into the city to mess up one of the few sections of the town that is operational.

     The change meter is up to $2.40, as I have found another 5 cents since my last entry in this regard.  Just a penny here or there, no big piles of change to mention, which doesn't help my retirement in the least.  The other number worth mentioning is that I am up to 46,715th place in golf.  Slowly I climb up the ranks, though I did pass one of the yahoo "experts" this week, I am still way behind the people who actually pay attention to this thing. 

    Tried watching the closing ceremonies to the Olympics the other nite, but too much song and dance leaves me wanting to watch something else pretty quickly, and Sundays are always good for a few episodes of Charmed on the WB.  Hmmm, an Eskimo on a stationary snow mobile doing a handstand while wearing snow shoes, or Rose McGowan and Alyssa Milano?  Not a real tough choice in my household.  I did click back a few times just to see what was happening.  Piece of advice for Canada, don't let Avril Lavigne anywhere near a microphone for the opening ceremonies in Vancouver.  Certainly you can find someone who can carry a tune.  Then there was the Ricky Martin song and dance segment, where it looked like they hired every streetwalker in Turin to dance behind him.   And what was up with that group of people below the stage that were dressed in all white?  I swear, when I first saw them, in their all white outfits, complete with hats, I thought it was a Klan rally.

     I got to have a unique conversation the other day with Phil Marcus.  Phil used to do a real estate show on the station on Saturdays, and they asked him to fill in for Lynn Cullen yesterday since Lynn is on vacation all week.  He and I ended up going to lunch yesterday after the show and global warming came up, because he mentioned it during the show.  I didn't say anything at the time, because it doesn't sound good if the producer and the host are disagreeing on the air, but I am not a huge proponent of global warming.  Not saying that it isn't occurring, just saying that I don't know, and science has done nothing to convince me one way or the other.  The problem for me is that in order for it to be science, you have to be able to test it, which is the same argument that shoots down teaching Intelligent Design as science.  Since there is no way to test global warming, and the basis for science is to come up with a hypothesis and then be able to test the hypothesis to either prove or disprove it, then I have a hard time treating global warming as science.  That doesn't mean that it isn't occurring, I just find the lack of measurable data troubling.  Rather than a scientific approach, now everything regarding weather that isn't a picturesque day is treated as a direct result of global warming.  The problem is, we went through this very same thing in the 70s, a complaint about the CO2 emmissions and how those emmissions were affecting the enviroment.  The problem was that it was called global cooling.  It was the answer science gave us for the fact that the surface temperature of the earth decreased in the span between the 1940s and the 1970s. 

     It is not the first time science has gotten it wrong mind you.  You can look at the field of computer science and less than a decade ago and the whole Y2K scenario, that if you believed the most radical predictors of it, we would be relegated back to the Stone Age because of our reliance on computers.  Even the more optimistic believers in Y2K thought we would see failings on a large scale of computers, leading to security problems for gov'ts and possible collapse of financial institutions.   Of course the reality was much different than the science.  Or we can look at the horror that was science before the second World war that was called eugenics, a science that suggested we could improve the quality of persons on the planet if we just kept those inferior races from reproducing.  A horror if ever there was one, and all in the name of science, as this crackpot theory was even backed by the American Medical Association among many other fine institutions.

     So before I go embracing all that is global warming, I think I am going to need some serious scientific testing where we get measurable results and can repeat the experiment getting similar results, rather than a global panacea for all things enviromental.

     I don't rant much, do I?

     Well, I better get running.  Not sure how close I was to the last blog, but is seemed kinda close.

Originally posted 2/27/06

After having a second long blog entry eaten by yahoo, all I can say is that they can bite my fucking crank.

Originally appeared 2/23/06

Time to myself

Greetings one and all.   Just hankering to get a new blog out here, since I have been somewhat off kilter most of the week, this seems like as good a time as any.

I am in the midst of taping a three hour show, which means that I should have plenty of time to put thoughts to paper, just don't count on them being in any sort of organized fashion.

We will get the easy stuff out of the way first.  I added another 2 cents to the change meter last night at work.  I might have added more, but I called off Tuesday night, as I have been battling a cold for better than two weeks now.  While I could have worked, I looked at how much I make there and decided that it wasn't worth it for me to be sick and miserable all evening for the pittance I receive.   Anyway, the new total is now $2.35.

Fantasy baseball starts again for me next month.  I should do a trial draft by putting together a yahoo team, jsut so I get a feel of how players are going in a draft before I get started with the real money drafts I will be part of. 

Well, Olympic hockey is over for North America, since both the US and Canada have been eliminated.  I don't get why it has been made such a big deal however.  the Us had played awful the entire tournament, and while Canada lost, it's not like they lost to a bunch of scrubs.  The Russian team looks really good.  Then again, most of the teams look really good, it is what happens when you let professionals play.  But since future Penguin Evgeni Malkin plays for Russia, that will be who I am watching out for.

Let me get this straight, a handful of US ports are going to be managed by Dubai Ports World, a state owned company from the United Arab Emirates?  Can we count the ways on why this is a really bad idea?  Not that the [ports were under US management before the current deal, rather a British company was managing them.  I am sorry, whether we are allies or not, after 9/11 the ports are one of those things that should have been federalized.  It seems that we go about protection in some sort of half-assed manner here.  The things sthat should be important are ignored and the things that are of no importance are raised in significance.  The Department of Homeland Security has little if anything to show for itself, other than a nice color coded chart to tell us the threat level.  Of course the fact that the whole terror alert thing  has the originality of a kid with a box of crayons is something else entirely.  But that is all we have to show for ourselves, 4 1/2 years later? 

I splurged yesterday and bought myself a peach pie.   Mmmmmm!  Just needed to break up the otherwise monotony that is my life, and what better way than with a tasty dessert.  It really doesn't take much to make me happy. 

Btw, the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog DVD was hilarious.  I can't remember the last time I laughed that much while watching tv.  I think my two favorite bits were when he went to the premiere of Attack of the Clones and from the week Conan was in Toronto and they sent Triumph to Montreal.    So much funny stuff and I am sure that it doesn't translate to blogging at all.

Still working on the books I got last weekend, mostly reading the book on dictators for now.  Got through the chapter on Duvalier, and I have about two and a half left before I am done.  The book closes with Milosovic and Noriega, so should be more fun reading.

Well I warned you this would be all out of joint, and as you can tell, I didn't disappoint, but I must be going, work beckons once again.

Also appeared 2/21/06

New Numbers

Change Meter Update - $2.33

Fantasy Golf - 58,200th place (told you I know nothing about golf)

Originally appeared 2/19/06

A great blog...................for me to poop on!

     Hey kids!   I must admit, a very decent weekend, though I have only myself to credit for that.  When we last spoke I was still pretty cranky, having my blog entry eaten by the internet demons that sometimes plague me.  Well, here is what happened after that........


     I left work, but not until after showing some people the Barney/Tupac video (see highlighted blog entries) and needless to say, it is a smash hit around the office.  Not sure it was wise to let so many people at work know where my blog page is, but for the most part, if I am calling people out, it is more a political rant than anything work related, so all should be good there.  Anyway, I had to cash ye olde paycheck and stop by the mall to check on some nursery stuff for my mom.  No, there is no brother or sister in the offing, apparently her neighbor was looking to decorate  her nursery in Blue Jean Baby stuff, whatever that is, and I said I would stop to see if K Mart had rugs of said name.  Not that they did, I did a prelim check on and didn't see them there, so I highly doubted that they would be in the store, but I figured I could cash my check and get this done all at the same time (not to mention, stop by the comic book store and pick up the new releases that came out Thursday).

      As expected, no luck there, so the next thing was to head downtown to do a switchover of buses and while in the neighborhood, pay the phone bill.  Verizon doesn't have a bill paying office in town, but there is a newsstand where I can pay the bill, at only a fee of a dollar.  I would rather pay that way then use the mail and hope it doesn't get lost or hand out credit card or bank account information to Verizon itself.  This way is almost instantaneous and I know it is done, plus I then had the opportunity to get the collector's edition of Sports Illustrated celebrating the Steelers Super Bowl win.  I will read it, but I want to send it and the issue that the one that came out after the game to my uncle in Iraq.  I figure it might be a nice piece of home to send him, since he and some of his fellow soldiers were going to watch the game, which meant they had to get up roughly around 3am Iraq time in order to catch the game.

     Back to Friday, after making it home, I felt it would be a good idea to get out of the house and go do something, otherwise I would end up just having a blah evening at home.  Anyone who knows me, knows that one of the ways I get out of one of my funks is to spend money on myself.   So, off to The Waterfront I went, with some cash in tow.  I have been wanting to go to Barnes & Noble anyway, since I have run out of things to read around the house, save for magazines and comic books, I needed something a little more intellectually challenging.  I got two books for Christmas, 1776 by David McCullough, and The Camel Club by David Baldacci plus I bought Leadership by Rudy Guliani but I have since finished all three books and was looking for something new to read.  I had seen a book over vacation that I wanted, but given I had three unfinished books at the time, I held off.  Now, I was going in search of the newest book by Neil Cavuto.  For those of you unfamiliar, he does the business show every afternoon on Fox News, though it isn't the typical news show, making a lot of financial information understandable for the layman and not hawking stock tips or anything of the like.   The other thing about Neil is that he is a cancer survivor and is now battling MS, so you get the feel from watching his show that he doesn't treat money as the be all end all that a lot of financial shows do.

      Of course when I got to Barnes & Noble, I must have spent 35-40 minutes looking for the book, to know avail.  Like a guy who doesn't need directions, I kept meandering through the store, checking different sections, biography, current events, history, all of the non fiction places one would expect to look, but came up empty.  Finally I caved it, and went to the desk to ask for help.  Sure enough, the girl who assisted me took me right to where the book should be, except it wasn't.  Hah, vindication for not asking for directions after all.  She mentioned they could order the book in (B&N is very good about such things, one of the reasons I like them), or I could check their South Hills store.  Mind you, I didn't want to be traversing all over Pittsburgh for the book, if they had it great, if not, so be it.  I did notice though, that while they didn't have his current book, they did have his first one in paperback so I figured I would get that instead.  Now, since I was planning on spending about $25 bucks on a new hardback, and the paperback of the earlier was only $16, in my way of thinking that meant I had more money to spend, so I went to the bargain books and see what was floating around there, which is when I came across a steal for 5 bucks.  Titled Talk of the Devil, it is a first person account of the author's interviews with 7  of the worlds most hated dictators after they have been removed from power.  I already have finished the first section, which was his encounter with Idi Amin.  Really interesting stuff for those who are into such things.

     Having made myself happy with such a coup (no pun intended, though one may be inserted at your preference) I headed over to Red Robin for dinner, with is basically a gourmet burger joint.  They have some other stuff on the menu, but it is the burgers and the bottomless french fries that they are know for.  Once you finish your fries, you can just ask for more and they will bring them.  And I just love french fries, a guilty pleasure of mine to be sure, they should be there own food group.  They are good with so many things, cheese, gravy, salt, seasoning salt, ranch dressing, onion salt and cheese, cayenne pepper- seasoning salt and cajun seasoning are just a few of the ways I will eat french fries.  I got the Royal Red Robin, which is a burger with fried egg and bacon on it.  Yummy!  I haven't had a burger with egg in ages, so this was a big plus.

     I could have went home happy at this point, but I figured I would stop by Target while I was there and look for the nursery stuff my mom had mentioned, though I found out from her via email before I left that the Blue Jean Baby  stuff had been discontinued before I left on my shopping trip, so I didn't expect to find anything at Target either.  I didn't so my expectations were met there, but I did get to ravage the discount DVD bin.  I snaggged The Cooler with William H Macy and Alec Baldwin for 5 bucks, and while I hadn't seen the movie before, I figured even if it sucked, it was only 5 dollars I would be out of.  Then I headed over to the section that has TV shows on DVD.  I was seriously considering getting season two of Aqua Teen Hunger Force (for those of you who don't get my fascination with the show, you probably never will, for those of you that do get the show, check out the quiz in the highlighted blog section).  I struggled with getting season two, and almost did, but then I saw something cheaper that I also wanted, and if nothing else, by the way I snagged a book out of the bargain bin and my DVD snatch earlier, you should know I am a bargain shopper.   Sitting at the end of an aisle, for just $6.50 was The Best of Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog.  At that price, it was indeed a must grab for the collection.  After that also coup, I figured I better go home, before I got carried away with spending too much money on myself.

        Both DVDs were decent, definitely worth the price of admission, as I would watch both of them after I got home.  Given how cold it has been outside this weekend, DVDs were definitely a good call.  Before I got a chance to watch the DVDs however, I tuned in the Olympics just to see how the days events went after I left work.  The hockey game I referred to in the last blog obviously was over, and in a shocker, Sweden beat the US in a shootout to go to the gold medal game against Canada while the US will have to play for bronze.  Not thet the US played a bad game, but any hockey fan will tell you, when you run into a hot goaltender, anything can happen and the Swedish goaltender did turn away like 40 shots or some crazy number.  I could be upset about the game, but if that adds a new player to the world stage, then hockey is better for it, and hopefully there will be better things to come on that front in the future.

       The argument has been made, especially here in the States, that we shouldn't send professional athletes to the game.  To that I say hogwash.  The idea of the Olympics is to find out who is the best in the world, you don't do that by sending amateurs.  Sure as a result, it means some countries will have advantages in certain sports, but if in the end, it results in better games being played by all the teams involved, then aren't we getting closer to seeing who the best in the world really is?  No one can then say, well we didn't send our best, so if we don't medal it doesn't matter.  Men's hockey is a prime example of what happens when everyone does send their best.  No one nation can lay claim to being the best because the professional talent pool is so spread out.  Sure there are favorites, but it isn't that shocking to see Sweden beat Canada or Slovakia being undefeated in round robin play when you look at the players on their rosters.  Heck, Czechoslovakia, which won the gold medal 4 years ago, is only 1-2 so far, which goes to show just how even things really are.

     Anyway, back to watching the Games.  I sit down in front of the TV to watch women's snowboard cross, which is like downhill skiing, except on snowboards and the gold medal race has all of the competitors on the course at the  same time racing each other.  The finals would have one American, two Canadians and someone from Sweden (I think).   As they get underway, the American takes an early lead, as one of the Canadians wipes out on an early jump.  They continue down the mountain and the other Canadian opts for a course that involves flying through the snow fence, which is both painful and not part of the course.  She would end up leaving the mountain on a stretcher.  This left the last two snowboarders, US and Sweden, though the US skier has opened up a huge lead, almost three seconds which you almost never see in downhill events of any kind.  Anyway, as they approach the final straightaway, there is just one jump left and then a short shot to the finish.  Being so far ahead, the US boarder opted to try a trick on the last jump, reaching down to grab her board as she twisted it in the air.  The problem is that you need to land on the board, and not on your ass, which she did.  Till she got up, the Swedish chick had passed her and took the gold, while the US had to settle for silver.   I listened to the pro-America announcers talk about what happened.  Hell the guy doing color for the event said that if he had that big a lead he might have done the same thing.  To that I say, WTF?

      Listen, we don't need to be reminded about how the US is perceived in the world.  We aren't the most loved nation most days, and while I can live with that, you would like to think that when sending athletes to the Olympics, they would represent the best of your nation.  This little stunt just showed the world that we have no problem rubbing your face in it by showing off, rather than just competing.  You would think spending four years getting ready for the opportunity to win a gold medal at the Olympics would be enough motivation, that should you have a great opportunity to win win one, you wouldn't mess it up by trying to show off, rather you would get off the course as quickly as possible and gracioulsy accept your gold medal.  Unfortuneately, these games, at least from the US perspective, is more about self serving athletes, and their egos than it is about country representation and national pride.  In a way, this touches on Angie's blog about alliegance.  If you don't want to represent your country by doing your very best at the Olympics games, do us all a favor and don't go.  I look at guys like Dominik Hasek and Jaromir Jagr, who have been injured in mens hockey, trying their best to get their team a gold medal, then I look at some jackass like Bode Miller who doesn't even care how he finishes, or the men's speedskating team, which has members that don't even talk to each other and are content to not congratulate each other on individual achievements, and to be honest, I am sick of all of those sorry ass rat bastards.  Kudos to the female downhill skier from Croatia, who has won two golds at these games, the first gold medals ever won by Croatia in any Olympics sport and piss on those athletes who treat the Games as some sort of inconveniece to their  schedules.

        Wow, there was a rant I wasn't planning on.  Well, I better get going, I am in the middle of taping here at work again, and eventually I will be out of the 24 minutes segments of Sinatra and into the 30 second spots which allow me less free time to pontificate.    It is going down to 10 degrees tonight.  All I can say to that is "Brrrrr!".

Originally appeared 2/21/06

Didn't I just say this a few blogs ago

Not to toot my own horn but, really, who keeps stealing my ideas..........(save for boxing, which I  still say isn't a sport)


Dan Wetzel

Why figure skating is not a sport

By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports | February 20, 2006

TURIN, Italy – Figure skating is not a sport.

Now, before you whip off your Risport and spike the blade through my aorta, please note that I think figure skaters are not just athletes, but remarkable athletes.

Figure skating requires strength, speed, stamina, dexterity, balance, timing, guts and just about everything other imaginable athletic skill. Certainly, more athletic skill than I could muster.

But figure skating is a competition, not a sport, and it has nothing to do with how difficult or entertaining it is. It is simply a matter of how the winner is determined. It is the same for gymnastics, diving, beauty pageants or anything that chooses a champion solely by human judging.

A sport needs to have a quantifiable way to determine a winner and a loser. There can be no debate about the scoring system. A ball must go into a goal or through a hoop; a runner must reach home or finish before the others. The winners run faster, jump higher, score more.

In some sports a clock is used to determine a winner, but the clock is not subjective. Besides, you can't have 53 guys racing down a ski hill at the same time. The clock is a judge, but it is an objective one.

Figure skating has none of this. Everything is about interpretation of success. It is about what the judge thinks, believes, feels. There is nothing absolutely quantifiable. Yes, the number of revolutions in a jump counts, but in the end if two people do the same jump, a human has to decide which one he or she likes better.

That is not a sport.

Figure skaters wear elaborate costumes in an attempt to appear more appealing, more flowing, more beautiful. The women (and even some men) wear makeup, they get their hair done, they wear jewelry, they play stirring music.

An ugly person would stand at a considerable, if not insurmountable, disadvantage in skating. Sasha Cohen would whip them every time.

As absurd as the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan drama that propelled skating into stratosphere was, it was based partially on the fact that it is a competition, not a sport. Harding was a powerful skater, possibly better at all aspects of skating than Kerrigan. But she was shorter, stockier and less feminine. Although Harding had defeated Kerrigan on occasion, she knew she was at a disadvantage against the taller, prettier, more graceful Kerrigan.

So she conspired with her boyfriend to have Kerrigan whacked in one of her skinny little knees.

In a real sport, this wouldn't have been necessary. Ugly people can win in track, in skiing, in the NFL, in soccer.

Beauty doesn't matter. Style doesn't count. There are no judges.

Some will argue that referees are essentially judges, determining who scores and who doesn't. But a referee is merely there to assure order and make the competitors follow the rules.

Yes, in most sports, the referee has the freedom to determine right and wrong by what he sees – a false start, an illegal advantage – but he is not determining the final victor. His assignment is to simply ensure fair play. The refs can't just say that while one team scored more points, they thought the other one was better anyway.

This creates a bizarre paradox where something like curling is a sport and figure skating isn't, even though to compare the level of necessary athletic ability is comical. But it is what it is. You have to be a stunning athlete to compete in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest but that doesn't make it a sport.

There is one exception to this no-judges rule: boxing (or kickboxing, or other fighting sports). This is fine because a clear victor can be achieved with a knockout (no judge needed). The judges are only used when the fight has gone on so long that it has to be stopped for the safety of the competitors. If they keep beating on each other, someone could die.

Of course, the presence of judges is why boxing is considered the most corrupt sport.

Other than that, no judge should ever determine a winner in a true sport. When you have that, whether it is ice skating, gymnastics or diving, you have a competition.

It isn't any different than American Idol. It can be fun to watch, the athletes can be talented and tenacious, it can be a great competition, but it isn't a sport.

It just isn't.

Originally appeared 2/16/06

Thankfully that portion of the week is over

     I managed to survive the early part of the week, which is the part of the week that had me double on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Now maybe I can work on getting rid of this cold that makes it sound like everyone is underwater when they are talking to me.

     I am actually glad I had to work last night, otherwise I might have had to sit through that awful hockey game where the US could only get a tie with freaking Latvia.  What the hell is that?  I can see even losing games to the better clubs in the world, but Latvia?  Yikes!

     At least the Pitt basketball team won again, this time with a victory over Providence, leaving them with a nice 20-3 record.  I was wrong last week, I thought they would need another good week to crack the top ten, but the latest rankings had Pitt at #9.  Wouldn't be the first time I got something wrong on this page though.

     A new add to the blogroll, your latest pornographic news, compliments of the fine folks at Adult Video News.  You had to know this site would take a turn for the worse eventually, I just figured I would speed up the process.

     Since my last scribing, another 51 cents gets added to the change meter, so our new total is $2.30.  I now have an outside shot at 3 dollars by the end of the month.

     New pogo challeges came out yesterday, both of them look relatively easy.  I finished one last night, the Poppa Zoppa badge, leaving only the Gin badge to keep my album perfect for the year.  For my personal, I chose another Phlinx badge to coincide with the Phlinx badge I am working on in the premium album. 

     Well, I better get running.  My email page on excite was down earlier, I need to go and see if it is functional again.  By the way, men's hockey is on now, the Czechs vs Switzerland and if you read this in time, you may catch some of the game, since it is only in the second period.

Originally appeared 2/17/06

What a piece of junk

   If you can't tell, I am not very happy.  I went through the process of creating another fine entry for my blog, and when I went to add it, I got the stupid screen which said I would have to refresh to continue, which I did and it erased my blog entry.  Normally, that wouldn't be a problem, as yahoo does have a feature where you can recover your last entry should something go awry, which I did and then went to post it, except yahoo didn't recover the whole entry, so I had to go back and delete the post,  as it cut off the blog entry in mid sentence.

     I will try to reconstruct the entry here, but who knows at this point how close I will get to the original entry, plus I have added material anyway.

     I did get to watch some more Olympic coverage this morning, some women's curling (USA/Russia) and some women's hockey (USA/Sweden) .  The hockey game is still in progress to my knowledge, it was 2-1 USA last I looked.  Curling was tied going into extra ends, though there was a smoking blond on the Russia team that was definitely holding my attention. 

     The office is doing a collection for the Powerball drawing this Saturday.  I threw 5 bucks at it, but I realize my chances of winning are only slightly worse than getting a date with the hot Russian curling chick.

     I caught up on my sleep last night, or most of it at least.  I think all told I logged about 11 hours.  I grabbed some dinner on the way home from work, opting for the cajun chicken sandwich and french fries.  I made it through the french fries before falling asleep around 5:30pm.  I woke up at 10:30, long enough to eat the sandwich, watch some Family Guy on DVD and go back to sleep until 5am.  I would have watched some more Olympics coverage, but it was the same taped delayed prepackaged crap NBC always gives us in the evenings, figure skating and cross country skiing.  I have already stated that figure skating isn't a sport, though if I needed proof of that, all I would have to look at would be the ice dancing pairs final, where a Chinese pair ended up with a silver medal after the dude tossed his girl in the air, she landed on her knees and slid into the boards.  A move made for professional wrestling to be sure, but even that blunder didn't keep them from getting a silver medal, so apparently you don't get penalized for screw ups of the first order in events with judges as opposed to a predetermined scoring system.   Instead they got to take a 5 minute break to make sure she was okay, then pick up where they left off.  Imagine if the American skier, who flew wildly off of the course, was allowed to go back to the point on the mountain where she crashed and the time she wrecked was put back on the clock and she continued racing from there, and you start to understand the stupidity of all things figure skating.  Hell, that alone would be worth a bronze.  Fucking idiots.

     I got paid today, which means I get to pay the phone bill and the landlord today as well.    I hate how those days go hand in hand.

     No news on the change meter, but then again, all I have done since my last posting on it was sleep and eat and work, with no real meandering by me to try and find any more money.

     Well, I better get running, I am getting to the point where I have less that an hour's worth of work before I get the rest of the day off.  Of course this morning it was 49 degrees outside when I got to work at 5am, as I type this at almost 12:45 pm, it has dropped to 33 degrees.  So much for the rumor that the sun actually warms things.

Originally appeared 2/14/06

Getting it all wrong again

     I read where Saddam Hussein is going on a hunger strike to protest his treatment in Iraqi court.  Then again, how could I miss it, given I follow the news fairly regularly and the topic of the hunger strike was the headline.  The sad part is, that once again it was the media getting the importance of the story wrong.  The important part of the days proceedings had nothing to do with the hunger strike at all, rather it had to do with a former intelligence officer testifying to the crimes of the Hussein regime, and the submission of evidence that included execution orders signed by Saddam himself.  Rather than focus on this evidence, we are treated to a story that focused on the defendants behavior and not on the actual trial.  Don't believe me?  Check the AP account which Yahoo reprinted, the actual mention of the evidence comes 11 paragraphs in.

      Far be it from me to get all drastic here, but I have a solution to the problem.  The prosecution should ask for a continuance, preferably in the ball park of say, 30 days or so.  This would give Saddam ample time to starve himself to death without subjecting the court or the public to his infantile behavior, all the while achieving the same goal as a guilty verdict, one dead Saddam.

Also appeared 2/14/06

My favorite Olympic sport so far

    Allow me to say I am digging the women's hockey.  Right now I have Canada/Sweden on the tv while doing the show.  Sweden is decent, but Canada is just too good for them.  It's 4-0 as I type this, at least it isn't like yesterday's Sweden/Italy game where Italy lost like 11-0.    Heck, I was happy to see Italy finally score a goal today, even though they lost again, this time to Russia.


Check that, it's now 6-1 Canada, but the cool thing is some of the hockey chicks are kinda hot. 

Fantasy Golf Update  - move up, now in 66,078th place, woohoo.

Change meter - also up, now at $1.79.

Well, better get back to work, and to the hockey game. 

Also appeared 2/12/06

Duck and cover

Originally appeared 2/12/06

Officially broken

    It was only a matter of time before I came down with something, since I do pretty much every year.  The sad thingh is I didn't even see this coming.  I worked yesterday, putting in an 11am-8pm shift at McDonald's, so last night when my legs ached to the point of messing with my sleep pattern, I just assumed it was because I had been on my feet all day.  I wish, instead it was the early signs of me being sick.  Not that being sick matters, unless I am bedridden, I will still be at work, it just sucks.   I enede up waking up with a sore throat, which is never good when you work in radio, there is something about having a voice that goes with the job.  Thankfully I have some of this week booked up.  Not that I am the star of the show by any means, it is after all the Lynn Cullen Show, but still it is always nice to be able to chime in when you have something pertinent to say.  Luckily I have an author on tomorrow for the first hour, then Senate candidate Bob Casey Jr later on in the show so I should be able to get away with just pushing buttons for at least one day.

     Another 4 cents for the change meter.  For those keeping score, that is now $1.76 so far this year.  The sad part is that the change meter is now enetering my sleeping patterns, as I find myself dreaming of finding change.  Not cool change like 20 dollar bills either, just a penny here and a penny there, which makes it hard to remember what I actually found and what I dreamt about finding.

     It is snowing out as I type this.  Not as bad as they got it on the East Coast (the mountains actually helped act a abarrier in this case) but we have maybe an inch so far.  Mind you, the news will treat this like it is the second coming of the ice age but for those of us who have been around longer than say a week, it is pretty much nothing for this time of year.

     I have been tinkering with Madden 2001 in my free time this weekend.  I know that the game is old, but when I bought it, I got it much cheaper than a newer version of Madden, because of the age.  I think I spent about ten bucks on it.  I don't even have a controller for my computer, so I have been playing the game in coaches mode since I got it.  I am up to season 10 now and salary cap issues are starting to come to bear.  For those of you unfamiliar with the game,  in franchise mode, you start with your teams original lineup, but as the seasons pass, you have to deal with drafting new players and developing them to the point where they help your team, rather than hurt it, players retiring, and the salary cap.  The cap for me right now is a killer, because I went and developed a decent quarterback, now he is holding out for more money (the rat bastard).  He wants 16 million per year.  And I want hot chicks in my bed every night, but that doesn't happen either.  So it looks like I will be starting the season with my backup and hoping he doesn't get hurt, cause my third stringer sucks ass.

      In more boring computer game news, I did get two of my badges done for pogo this week.  Just one to go, but it is going to take a while, so I am not getting too excited.  I did get one of my premium badges done as well, and I am close to finishing the second of the three premium albums, with only 7 games of spider solitaire to go before that is done.

      The Penguins won two games in a row this weekend.  Forget the bombing of Baghdad, two wins in a row from this club is truly shock and awe.   The Pitt basketball team plays later today, and since I last wrote about them, they have beem mediocre.  The lost three straight games, to St John's, U Conn and Georgetown to fall to #12 in the polls, then this Thursday they knocked off #10 West Virginia and today they play Cincinnati.  A win and they may get back in the top ten, but I think it will take another week of winning basketball before anyone votes them back that high.

     I am making progress at getting out of work for the day.  I have all of my commercial feeds taped, my Clark Howard minutes done and I am now working on taping Big Band Jump for next week.  I may not finish this today, because I could get out of here at 2pm, if I opt to finish it later in the week.   That is the advantage of football season being over, I can pretty much set my schedule on Sundays at the radio station.  The station itself is automated, I just come in to get my production work done, and most of it is done to this point.  Plus I have an easy McDonald's week this week, so I should have time to finish this show whenever, probably Thursday, or even Friday, but I would like to go out Friday night as they are running a specail at Dave and Buster's again, you by an entree for like 15 bucks and you get a 10 dollar game card to play in the arcade.  36 years old, and no intention of growing up. that's me.

     Well I have rambled on about nothing for long enough, besides, my coffee mug is empty. So to quote Nancy Kerrigan after getting whacked in the knee with a pipe at the Olympics, "Why...(sobs)...Why.....(sobs).....Why?". 

Also appeared 2/10/06

Four Presidents and a Funeral
A spirited tribute to Mrs. King--and to democracy.

Friday, February 10, 2006 12:01 a.m.

Listen, I watched the funeral of Coretta Scott King for six hours Tuesday, from the pre-service commentary to the very last speech, and it was wonderful--spirited and moving, rousing and respectful, pugnacious and loving. The old lions of the great American civil rights movement of the 20th century were there, and standing tall. The old lionesses, too. There was preaching and speechifying and at the end I thought: This is how democracy ought to be, ought to look every day--full of the joy of argument, and marked by the moral certainty that here you can say what you think.

There was nothing prissy, nothing sissy about it. A former president, a softly gray-haired and chronically dyspeptic gentleman who seems to have judged the world to be just barely deserving of his presence, pointedly insulted a sitting president who was, in fact, sitting right behind him. The Clintons unveiled their 2008 campaign. A rhyming preacher, one of the old lions, a man of warmth and stature, freely used the occasion to verbally bop the sitting president on the head.

So what? This was the authentic sound of a vibrant democracy doing its thing. It was the exact opposite of the frightened and prissy attitude that if you draw a picture I don't like, I'll have to kill you.

It was: We do free speech here.

That funeral honored us, and the world could learn a lot from watching it. The U.S. government should send all six hours of it throughout the World Wide Web and to every country on earth, because it said more about who we are than any number of decorous U.N. speeches and formal diplomatic declarations.

A moment for a distinction that must be made. Some have compared Mrs. King's funeral to the Paul Wellstone memorial. It was not like the Wellstone memorial, and you'd have to be as dim and false as Al Franken to say it was. The Wellstone memorial was marked not by joy but anger. It was at moments sour, even dark. There was famous booing.

The King funeral was nothing like this. It was gracious, full of applause and cheers and amens. It was loving even when it was political. It had spirit, not rage. That's part of why it was beautiful.

It was also beautiful because, as the first speaker, Bishop Eddie L. Long, senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., said in almost his first words, "This is a worship. This is a celebration. This is a moment that we give to honor God."

It was a religious service in which no one was afraid to talk about God. "Praise the Lord," and "Lord, we lift your name on high" and "How we love to sing your praises" rang through the room. Scripture was quoted, stories told. Blacks in America are not afraid to love Jesus the way they want to love him, to use the language and symbols they want to use. I want to kiss their hands for this. I also happen to honor the fact that, by and large, older blacks at least have not given way to 20th-century stoicism in their style of mourning. The Kennedys, who had too much experience with funerals, set the stoic style 40 years ago, and while it was elegant and moving in its own way, it left an entire nation thinking it was in rather poor taste to cry aloud and sob.

As for the speakers, no one has ever been or could be better than the Rev. Bernice King, who spoke of her mother's love, her mother's end, and the possible metaphorical meaning of the cancer that killed her.

The Rev. Joseph Lowery gave a beautiful poem about Martin being with Rosa in heaven and then finding out that Coretta was coming, and rushing to greet her at the pearly gates. Strike you as corny? Not me. It was beautiful because it was not only full of unselfconscious faith, it assumed unselfconscious faith on the part of the audience, and so was both an implicit compliment and a declaration of shared assumptions. The audience responded with amens and cheers. When he bopped the president over weapons of mass destruction, what seemed, on CNN, to be half the room stood and applauded.

When George Bush 41 followed him to the podium, he teased Mr. Lowery in a way that complimented his eloquence. People sometimes marvel at the grace of George H.W. Bush. He is a warm and gracious man, and he's old enough to appreciate the humor in everything. He's old enough to appreciate life. But it is also true that when you attack him or his son from the left he doesn't get mad because in his heart he kinda thinks you're right. Attack him from the right; you won't be overwhelmed by his bonhomie then.

President Bush was fine, his eloquence of the formal kind. He needs to find the place between High Rhetoric and off-the-cuff plainspeak. He always does one or the other. But there's a place in between, a place that's not fancy and not common, that would serve him well if he could find it.

Bill Clinton was, as always, the master. Say what you will, he is the only politician in America with the confidence to call Episcopalians "the frozen chosen" and know everyone will laugh and take no offense. Amid all the happy bombast he was the one who pointed at the casket and said, "There's a woman in there." He talked about Mrs. King in good strong plain terms. Yes, he caused a quarter-second of awkwardness when he said of the beautiful Coretta that even at age 75 she still had the goods, but in moments of exuberance we all forget our own history.

The real news was how the Clintons used the funeral to unveil how they will run in 2008: Together, side by side, with beautiful hairdos. I haven't seen them like this--both standing at the podium--since 1992, when they were new. In the years since, after the health-care failure and the Whitewater scandals, the West Wing attitude toward the president's wife was a quiet and respectful "Get that woman off the podium!" Not anymore. All is new again. Mrs. Clinton has clearly been working on her public speaking, and attempted to use her hands as her husband uses his, now in an emphasizing arc, now resting on her chest. But his are large, long and elegant, and hers are puffed and grasping.

Both Clintons spoke in the cadence and with the imagery of the Bible. Mrs. Clinton's first words, in which she referred to Mrs. King's brave decision to continue her husband's work after his murder, were steeped in religiosity. "As we are called, each of us must decide whether to answer that call by saying, 'Send me.'" She ended with, "The work of peace never ends. So we bid her earthly presence farewell. We wish her Godspeed on her homecoming. And we ask ourselves, 'Will we say, when the call comes, "Send me"?'"

Oh I think we will, Ms. Meanieface!

If you don't understand that Mrs. Clinton was rehearsing her 2008 announcement speech, then you are a child and must go home and have a nice cup of cocoa.

This is what is coming: I have had a blessed life. And like so many people I could choose, after all these years, a life of comfort. Watch it from the sidelines, tend to my own concerns, watch the garden grow. But our nation calls out. And if we are to be Americans we must meet the call. "Send me."

With Bill nodding beside her, his hands clasped prayerfully in front of him, nodding and working that jaw muscle he works when he wants you to notice, for just a second, how hard it is sometimes for him to contain his admiration.

God I love them.

Apart from its beauty, dignity and fight, Mrs. King's funeral got me thinking about this: Did she know how much she was loved? It's hard for a person to know that. If only she could have gone to her own funeral, she would have known. I wonder if it wouldn't be good if somewhere along the way, just once in your life, you got to call your own funeral. Pick the church, the speakers, the music, sit in the pew, clap when they talk about how wonderful you were. Then afterwards have a long lunch and toast your memory. Then the next day you go to work as usual, but maybe in a different mood. I don't see why we don't do this. Is this a stupid thing to say? It's allowed. I've got free speech.

Originally appeared 2/10/06

Rules of the game

Greetings one and all.  Just taking some time to jot a few things down before swallowing more coffee and getting back to work here.

More people have opted to be on the friends list.  Feel free to say to them, or inform them of the error of their ways, your choice.

For those that don't know, here is what you can expect here, not much.  Really, I will babble about just about anything.  Any highlighted blogs have a link in them, the launchcast thingy should connect you to my station.  I was up most of the night rating more music to better fine tune it, I actually have filed a couple thousand ratings on there, so most of what I would deem as crap has been filtered out.  Most of what you would deem as crap has been left in, just so I can annoy you a little more.

The change meter, which is the logging of change that I have found in my meanderings in the real world now stands at $1.72.  I managed to scoop up another 16 cents here and there over the last couple of days.  Slowly we creep to the two dollar mark, someone needs to drop a wallet or something so we can move this total along. 

The feeds and blogroll are all things that I check out frequently which is why they have been added to the page.  I wouldn't subject you all to anything that I doon't subject myself to, save for brussell sprouts, you can have all of those.


And in other news

Excuse me for being even more over the top pro America than I normally am (and that is quite a bit), but I have to root for the home team in the Olympic Games, at least in those things that are actually sports and not glorified vocations or hobbies.  A sport is defined here by an athletic activity where the winner is determine by a measured means and not someone's arbitrary opinion.  Therefore downhill skiing is a sports (measured by elapsed time to come down  a mountain) and figure skating isn't (scoring based on the opinion of a panel of judges).  Before everyone says that that means I just support "macho" events as sports, boxing would not qualify either, as a bunch of judges determine who wins each round as opposed to an established way of measuring who indeed won.  The winner of an event should never be determined by whether or not a judge has a stick up his ass regarding the nations that are competing.  

Count me amongst the happy that Cindy Sheehan has opted to not run for the US Senate.  I hate one issue candidate, regardless of what the issue is.  We can all shed a tear that her son died in Iraq, or send along our sympathies, but that doesn't answer the harder questions like how to fix Social Security, or what to do about the national debt.  Plus I have a hard time swallowing a "peace activist" who was more than content to be coddled by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, a man who tried at first to militarily take over his country in a coup, and is recognized by Amnesty International as a human rights violater.  It is common occurence for Hugo's political adversaries to just "disappear".    

Fast food advice - When eating at McDonald's, get the Big N Tasty w/o ketchup or mayo, then ask for hot picante sauce.  Tasty and much less messy.

And finally breakfast advice - Cheapo cafe mochas, just add equal parts coffee and hot chocolate to your mug in the morning, good stuff and about 5 dollars cheaper than Starbucks.

That's it for me today, still have papers to staple, coffee to drink and cigarettes to smoke before the show starts.  Have a good weekend everyone.

Originally appeared 2/7/06

Anyone for a parade?
Anyone for a parade? magnify

   That will be what happens today in town to celebrate the Super bowl win, a parade followed by a huge rally down at the Point.   For those of you who don't know what the Point actually is, it is Point State Park, located at the very point where the three rivers meet in the heart of Pittsburgh, though us yinzers know that the place where three rivers meet is also referred to as a confluence, but that is another matter.  I wouldn't be surprised to upwards of 100,000 people down there, but that is just a guess on my part, it may be lower since it is a work day after all, but at least one school district around here has cancelled classes for the festivities, and the number of people who went to work the day after the game was remarkably low, which made my job easier last nite, but that is another story.


By the way, another nickel gets added to the change meter, now at $1.53.  I have a legitimate shot at 2 dollars by the end of Feb, which is strangely satisfying to me.  I need to get a life.

Well, just a few minutes till show time, so I better get settled in here with my coffee and Almond Joy candy bars (mmmmm, coconut). 

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